Posted by: RAM | March 1, 2017

Thursday (March 2): Take up your cross daily and follow Christ

Mabuhay at Mabuting Balita
Month of St. Joseph
Thursday after Ash Wednesday
Lectionary: 220

First Reading: Deuteronomy 30:15-20
Psalms 1:1-4, 6: Blessed are they who hope in the Lord.
Gospel: Luke 9:22-25
Jesus said to his disciples:
“The Son of Man must suffer greatly and be rejected
by the elders, the chief priests, and the scribes,
and be killed and on the third day be raised.”

Then he said to all,
“If anyone wishes to come after me, he must deny himself
and take up his cross daily and follow me.
For whoever wishes to save his life will lose it,
but whoever loses his life for my sake will save it.
What profit is there for one to gain the whole world
yet lose or forfeit himself?”
http://www.usccb.org/bible/readings/03217.cfm

Reflection:  Do you know the healing, transforming power of the cross? When Jesus predicted his passion his disciples were dismayed. Rejection and crucifixion meant defeat and condemnation, not victory and freedom. How could Jesus’ self-denial, suffering and death lead to victory and life? Through his obedience to his Father’s will, Jesus reversed the curse of Adam’s disobedience. His death on the cross won pardon for the guilty, freedom for the oppressed, healing for the afflicted, and new life for those condemned to death. His death makes possible our freedom to live as sons and daughters of God.

Surrender to God and he will fill you with his Spirit
There’s a certain paradox in God’s economy. We lose what we gain, and we gain what we lose. When we try run our life our own way, we end up losing it to futility. Only God can free us from our ignorance and sinful ways. When we surrender our lives to God, he gives us new life in his Spirit and the pledge of eternal life. God wants us to be spiritually fit to serve him at all times. When the body is very weak or ill, we make every effort to nurse it back to health. How much more effort and attention should we give to the spiritual health of our hearts and minds!

The great exchange – my life for His victorious life
What will you give to God in exchange for freedom and eternal life? Are you ready to part with anything that might keep you from following him and his perfect plan for your life? Jesus poses these questions to challenge our assumptions about what is most profitable and worthwhile in life. In every decision of life we are making ourselves a certain kind of person. It is possible that some can gain all the things they set their heart on, only to wake up suddenly and discover that they missed the most important things of all. A true disciple is ready to give up all that he or she has in exchange for true happiness and life with God. The life which God offers is abundant, everlasting life. And the joy which God places in our hearts no sadness or loss can diminish.

The cross of Christ brings freedom and victory over sin
The cross of Jesus Christ leads to freedom and victory over sin and death. What is the cross which Christ commands me to take up each day as his disciple? When my will crosses with his will, then his will must be done. The way of the cross involves sacrifice, the sacrifice of laying down my life each and every day for Jesus’ sake.  What makes such sacrifice possible and “sweet” is the love of God poured out for us in the blood of Jesus Christ. Paul the Apostle reminds us that “God’s love has been poured into our hearts through the Holy Spirit” (Romans 5:5). We can never outmatch God. He always gives us more than we can expect or imagine. Are you ready to lose all for Christ in order to gain all with Christ?

“Lord Jesus, I give you my hands to do your work. I give you my feet to go your way. I give you my eyes to see as you do. I give you my tongue to speak your words.  I give you my mind that you may think in me. I give you my spirit that you may pray in me. Above all, I give you my heart that you may love in me, your Father, and all mankind. I give you my whole self that you may grow in me, so that it is you, Lord Jesus, who lives and works and prays in me.” (Prayer from The Grail) http://dailyscripture.servantsoftheword.org/readings/2017/mar2.htm copyright (c) 2016 Servants of the Word, source:  www.dailyscripture.net, author Don Schwager

Saint of the Day: Bl. Charles the Good (1083-1127)
In 1086, St. Canute, King of Denmark and father of Blessed Charles the Good, was slain in St. Alban’s Church, Odence. Charles who was only a few years old was taken by his mother to the court of Robert, Count of Flanders, his maternal grandfather. When he grew up, he became a knight and accompanied Robert in a crusade to the Holy Land where he distinguished himself; on their return, Charles also fought against the English with his uncle. On Robert’s death, his son Baldwin succeeded him and designated Charles as the heir. At the same time, he arranged for Charles’ marriage to the daughter of the Count of Clermont. During Baldwin’s rule, Charles was closely associated with him, and the people came to have a high regard for his wise and beneficent ways as well as his personal holiness. At Baldwin’s death, in 1119, the people made his cousin their ruler.  Charles ruled his people with wisdom, diligence, and compassion; he made sure that times of truce were respected and fought against black marketeers who horded food and were waiting to sell it at astronomical prices to the people. This encouraged their undying wrath and one day in 1127 as Charles was praying in the Church of St. Donatian they set upon him and killed him.Blessed Charles the Good  feast day is March 2nd. http://www.catholic.org/saints/saint.php?saint_id=483

More Saints of the Day:
St. Agnes of Bohemia
St. Angela of the Cross 
St. Chad of Mercia
Bl. Charles the Good
St. Cynibild
St. Fergna
St. Gilstlian
St. Jovinus & Basileus
Martyrs of Campania
St. Paul, Heraclius, and Companions
St. Willeic

Let me be the change I want to be. Even if I am not the light, I can be the spark.  Follow Tweets by @TheOneKinEnt  @Pontifex @CardinalChito Maynila, Pilipinas

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